Ornately Decorated Handpan - Eye-Catching Designs

For a good while steel tongue drum were the "peacocks" of UFO-shaped singing steel, while Handpan remained, in general, more humble in their appearance.  Over the last few years though we’ve shared posts on a handful of more elaborately decorated Handpan, such as those by Vadjraghanta, and SoHung.  And while quality of sound should always remain the most sought-after quality to search for in a Handpan (in our opinion at least), should you be looking to make a purchase, the trend towards ever more aesthetically pleasing Handpan appears to be gaining momentum.  And if you can have both sound, and appealing looks, well, why not?

Below are featured a number of the more ornate Handpan offerings that we have stumbled across in recent times, for your perusal…


The following pictures are of an Innersound Handpan shared via Facebook by Handpan Musician, Kim Metcalf, that found its way into the hands of tattoo-artist, Clare Lupino.  These photos of this Innersound Handpan embellished with what is believed to be some kind of  gold enamel paint, have become one of the most liked publicly-available Handpan Facebook posts of recent times...

Hamsa Handpan

While the above appears to be an example of an artist working upon their Handpan independently of the original maker.  The following photo appears to demonstrate a collaborative work between Hamsa Handpan maker, Stevan Morris, and artist, Pirouz Ghayouri.  To see the bottom shell of this pan, decorated with an incredibly ornate rendering of the Hamsa Handpan logo…

PanAmor Sound Sculptures

And the following recently shared photographs appear to be an example of ornate Handpan design added during the building phase itself, with this geometric-mandala type offering coming straight out of the workshop of UK Handpan-makers, Pan Amor...

Selling Royalty Free Handpan Music

In the past here at HPM we’ve published posts on selling your Handpan music via Bandcamp, and making money from your videos using Google’s adsense program.  And in a similar vain, with this post, will be taking a look at the idea of selling (or indeed, buying) Handpan music, in a royalty-free format.

What Does Royalty Free Mean?

Royalty-free, or RF, refers to the right to use copyright material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.

Or, for our purposes here - when you sell your Handpan music royalty-free, you charge the buyer a one-off fee, for the right to use your work without requiring them to pay yourself future royalties (all very self-explanatory).

With royalties being: ‘a sum paid to a patentee for the use of a patent or to an author or composer for each copy of a book sold or for each public performance of a work.'

Selling Your Music Royalty Free

Selling your work royalty-free for a one off payment is something that is ultimately a judgement call. Should some Disney executive stumble across it and decide that your composition is the perfect fit for their next summer blockbuster, a one-off payment, compared to a small fortune lost in residuals, could make you wretch later down the line.  But if you judge the chances of that happening unlikely, you’re just trying to keep the lights on and some food in the fridge, or just fancy making a little extra money for whatever your reasons - selling your music in the royalty-free marketplaces, could be of interest to you.

Pond 5

And you wouldn’t be alone if you’re keen.  Because over at the Pond 5 website, a New York based online marketplace for royalty-free media - Handpan music is already being bought and sold.  Primarily under the ever-popular "Hang Drum" moniker, at time of posting, but also as the more conventional, Handpan.

Bringing into Question Ballistol and FrogLube

While PANArt recommended Biofa Oil, for protecting Hanghang from rust, in earlier years, and later switched to a new biopolymer-based cleaning and anti-corrosive fluid, known as “Hang cleaning fluid”, when an independent study was carried out by a member of Handpan.org back in 2011, testing various substances for their rust-preventing properties, against fragments of Handpan shell, which found FrogLube, and Ballistol, to be the best performing - these two concoctions became widely embraced - and until recently at least, have served as the two main go-tos, for Handpan rust protection/prevention.

However, two studies published just recently, by folks deeply involved in the building of Handpan, have, for differing reasons, called out both of these popular Handpan anti-corrosion treatments, as possibly having detrimental effects upon our instruments. Are these guys simply trying to drum up more business for their buddies over at Phoenix Handpan Care? Or should we be worried? Read on to find out more...

The Case of the Glue-Eating Oil

Aura Handpan-man, Jon Antzoulis, recently shared a study that he'd conducted into the possible negative effects of various oils upon the glue used to join the upper and lower Handpan shells:

"Over the past year, I have encountered at least 3 instances where the glue inside completed instruments appeared to have dissolved or changed in consistency, causing the shells to come apart from one another.", " I suspected that the glue was somehow being compromised by the lubricants that we use to protect our instruments from rust, so on November 29, 2016, I decided to do a test..."

Read Full Study

The Death of Sustain

Saraz Handpan-man, Josh Rivera, has also been conducting his own tests recently, having witnessed what he believes to be the negative effects of oils like Ballistol, and FrogLube, upon a Handpan's overall sound...

"As many of you know, I had spent months researching different oils and protections for the handpan, after having noticed a significant loss of sound using Balistol. Of course, after noticing it with Balistol, I then noticed it with FrogLube", "...after spending so much effort to get a sound/sustain we enjoy, having it altered and effectively undermined by the oils we use was getting quite frustrating. after spending so much effort to get a sound/sustain we enjoy, having it altered and effectively undermined by the oils we use was getting quite frustrating. "

Read Full Study

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